The Word: The blood of Jesus covered your mess too

Published 10:00 am Friday, January 20, 2023

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Rev. J. Cameron Bailey

“Love the sinner and hate the sin.” When Augustine used these words, he was writing a letter to a group of nuns who were struggling in dealing with how they were acting as servants of God. The primary point Augustine was striving to make is how we, as followers of Christ, should always love people.

A few years ago, a friend told me how his preacher called out a couple who had attended services that day for their lifestyle choice. I was told that the preacher called them out and even asked them to leave the service.

My jaw dropped…and for one of the few times in life I was speechless. A preacher… a man who is to lead people and train them in the ways of God and in the love of Jesus…a person who is himself a sinner…calls out the sin of a couple and asks them to leave. What made the story even more hurting was how this friend mentioned that several in the congregation applauded and “amen’d” this action.

“Love the sinner and hate the sin.”

Why do we pinpoint which sins we’ll tolerate? We gladly (and quickly) tell our dislike of certain sins. We’ll point out how certain sins are being promoted more and more while overlooking other sins in our own life or the lives around us. We’ll shun that homosexual couple while listening of the trip our friends went on with their boy/girl friend knowing they ain’t married and are living together. We’ll gossip about what that person said or did and judge them quickly while forgetting that gossiping is also a sin.

Why are folks who claim Jesus so fast to talk of the sins of others while forgetting that the blood of Jesus covered their own mess ups too?

“Love the sinner and hate the sin.”

What if those of us who claim Christ welcomed with open arms all those who are struggling in ALL types of sins instead of just the ones of which culture is now numb? Sin is sin. Love is love. And love dies for a sinner just like you and me. We are all guilty and have all fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

“Love the sinner and hate the sin.”

My name is James Cameron Bailey and I am a sinner. I too have fallen short of the glory of God. But thankfully the next verse (Romans 3:24) lets me know I am justified freely through the grace brought by Jesus Christ. Next time you’re around those sinners….toss your stones to the side and just hug them, welcoming them with the love of Jesus.

Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor of Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at